Feature Request: Support and refine digital-to-analog faxing on limited extensions

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  • Updated 4 months ago
Situation:
Many businesses continue to use traditional fax machines due to their simplicity, familiarity, and perceived security. Many business managers, owners, and employees struggle to grasp the concept and use of e-fax, whether intentionally or by nature of their understanding.

Problem:
There is no consistent, reliable traditional faxing solution in RingCentral that allows a technician to install, test and use fax adapters with existing traditional fax machines without running into contract issues, billing issues, and frustrating, pointless calls to support.

Impact:
1. In selling my customer a complete solution, I include a faxing user that will probably need to be cancelled when their fax machine (usually new, usually expensive, usually leased from local office supply contractor) will not work with their VoIP adapter.
2. I spend countless hours troubleshooting an installed fax solution that worked when I left at the end of install day, but suddenly does not work a day later.
3. My customer and their employees talk to other potential customers and share a negative opinion about the faxing portion of RingCentral when traditional fax is used.
4. My customer gets bills from RingCentral and Phone Company X for phone/fax service, resulting in potential confusion for them or future technicians working on their system.
5. The various benefits of traditional fax aren't available via the RingCentral e-Fax solution, partially defeating it's purpose: Not easily accessible to all who are physically present, need a PC logged in with app always logged in to automatically print, need to have a digital copy of the document to send, etc.
6. Even with traditional faxing support in an unlimited user, there is no way to consistently say if a fax machine will be reliable with VoIP. I have found a few that are, but it would be best to have one or two that are officially supported.

Solution:
Provide the ability to enable and modify several fax-specific settings in the limited extension interface. Items such as codec selection, bit rate, cloud storage and delayed re-transmission of the fax, Error Correction, poor connection detection (QoS not configured properly, etc.) would be very desirable.

Benefits:
1. As it is a limited extension, it would not cause conflicts with existing contracts.
2. As it is fax specific, taking advantage of the pricing structure to avoid unlimited line costs would be difficult and unsustainable.
3. Customer may keep their familiar and existing equipment, and get rid of their unfriendly analog service provider.
4. Customer gets the benefit of encrypted fax transmissions for use in banks, law firms, etc.
 
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Christopher Nelson

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Posted 4 months ago

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ericnixmd

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Isn't this already possible with a Cisco SPA device that RingCentral sells?  I have a RingCentral line for my home office.  We have an extra line with a Cisco SPA (122?) device connected to a BrotherMFC L8900-CDW printer/fax for our home fax.  It works like a charm.
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Christopher Nelson

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It is very possible, but it's always hit-or-miss with various customers. It would be a much more effective solution if there was a way to standardize configuration - e.g. recommended list of fax machines, fax specific settings in the RC interface, etc. Also, fax specific lines should be free of contracts in order to facilitate phasing them out as needed. It definitely is old technology and many companies WANT to get rid of them, but can't due to customer needs, government regulations, etc. A no-contract line would simply allow them to say, "Hey, we'll keep this for a few months until we've worked out a replacement, phase the replacement in, and we won't have to pay for both for a whole year due to contracts." While others simply will use it indefinitely, and more power to them.

Also, thanks for the heads up on the Brother fax machine. I've been looking for a recommendation for a bank I installed recently for. If it works as you say, they will be very, very happy.